Although the weather was dull and mild, parishoners remained optimistic as they arrived to celebrate the bicentenary of St. Molua’s Church in Ballaghmore on Sunday, July 8.
A lot of painting, refurbishment and cleaning were done in the weeks leading up to this event.
The Mass commenced at 3pm, and people were handed booklets at the entrance of the church. These booklets were made by a researcher in Roscrea, Liam Doran and they detailed a timetable of Mass proceedings, as well as the history of the church and a list of priests who had joined the parish over 200 years ago.
St Molua’s was packed to capacity. The proceedings began with an opening speech by Eamon Scully, Chairman of the Parish Council, who welcomed everyone to the event. Also present were priests Tom Corbett, Pat Treacy, Michael Harding and Lorcan Kenny, as well as the bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly and former bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh, and Roscrea Minister, Adrian Hewson. The Church of Ireland was also represented by Lesley Robinson.
A choir of pupils from Gaelscoil An Slí Dala, Ballaghmore sang Irish and English hymns throughout Mass. The choir was headed by teachers Roseá Nevin and Patricia Scott.
After the opening speech, the clergy gathered together to pray and begin the blessing of the holy water. A plaque was then unveiled in the church to commemorate the bicentenary.
Fr. Tom Corbett thanked the clergy and parishoners of Ballaghmore and other surrounding areas for attending the event, as well as the organisers and the participants of the choir. He talked about the history of St. Molua’s Church and emphasised that it was a memorable occasion for the people of the parish.
Towards the end of Mass, a bouquet of flowers was given to the Sacristan, Geraldine Breen to thank her for her organisational work in the church.
At 4pm, locals came to the Parish hall in Ballaghmore for refreshments. The food served included salads, turkey and ham sandwiches, cakes, buns as well as tea and coffee. The organisers Breeda Hally and Marjorie Phelan thought that the event was a great success, and were pleased with the turnout. They would like to thank everyone involved for their support as well as the community.